Archive for April, 2005

The Taste of Tea

Posted By yonghow on April 20th, 2005

Its hard to describe in words just how bizzare Ishii Katsuhito’s Cha no Aji ( The Taste of Tea ) is but its delightful combination of queer plot elements and even queerer characters makes for one very arresting viewing experience. I can’t quite remember the last time I was so zonked out after watching a film. Kanarazu mitekudasai.

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Film school

Posted By yonghow on April 18th, 2005

Film school enters the 2nd week as lesson proper starts, trial classes are expected for another week before we decide on the modules we want to take. I would have personally preferred more lesson time on the ARRI 16mm film camera but with so many students in the film module I doubt that can be helped. On a much more exciting note I am without a doubt the most linguistically challenged student on campus, but gratifyingly enough that also means there’s no other place to go but up.

Dokorode today on film appreciation class our lecturer shares with us his conversation with a friend who was working as film crew for director Iwai Shunji. *quote* “(Iwai) Madness !!! 3 days on set without sleep ! We start eating our meals without the foggiest idea if its breakfast, lunch or dinner. ”

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Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Cafe Lumiere

Posted By yonghow on April 11th, 2005

Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Kohi Jikou ( Cafe Lumiere ) is an extremely quiet and halcyon film ( in fact bordering on extremes, especially to those whose tastes are not attuned to the arthouse ) that however speaks volumes in emotional resonance beneath it seemingly mundane scenes and locked camera shots. Tsai Ming Liang’s What Time Is It There comes to mind. Lee Ping Bing’s photography is remarkably unostentatious and austere, much more akin to his work in Spring Time in a Small Town than In The Mood For Love.

On a more personal level many of the scenes take on a very intimate and immediate feel, the locations been places I am familiar with while I’m here in Japan like Shinjuku train station ( the chime for a leaving train is especially nostalgic ), Yurakucho, and the short trams to Waseda, passing through Sangenjaya where my friend Berni used to live.

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Hanami Party, Koganei Park

Posted By yonghow on April 10th, 2005

A new start calls for a fresh look, here in Japan as the seasons finally come full circle the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms symbolizes new beginnings, as with the commencement of my film school. Today folks from the various Borderless Tokyo houses got together for a Hanami party in Koganei Park, a cosmopolitan mix from Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, France, Germany, Korea, Australia, China and Sweden, and despite the dusty gails in the park sweeping in every now and then peppering our food with cherry blossom petals spirits were high as everyone got acquainted quickly, certainly the photo speaks just as much. These crazy blokes !

Takoyaki Party

Posted By yonghow on April 3rd, 2005

I’m absolutely getting spoilt by my new Japanese friends. Check out the Takoyaki !

Anyway, here’s the hilarious introduction written on me at the Borderless Tokyo website by Yoshi-san, our fantastic manager :

Mar. 23 Welcome! Yonghow! (Tanashi-house)

The star of Singapore Yonghow is moving in Tanashi-house!
He’s been to Japan for 1 year. so his Japanese is quite good!
He loves Shunji Iwai’s film and is learning this kind of thing in Japan.
Your website is really cool, Yonghow!!
Be friendly with him, everybody!!

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